O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The world has lost a wonderful man today in the great Robin Williams. When I was younger I loved seeing him as the genie or as the great Peter Pan in Hook. As I got older, it was movies like Dead Poets Society that moved me. That is the movie that I will always remember him for, his first truly serious role in which he played an English teacher with a love of poetry and the arts. As I fell in love with books and poetry I remembered Mr. Keating. I remembered Carpe Diem. I remembered reading for the love of it, for the passion, rather than because someone told you you should like it.
That film meant everything to me. As a reader, as a writer, as an English major, and as a creative person. Mr. Keating is every teacher who showed me that books have a heart and a soul. He is every teacher who believes in his or her students, not just in learning, but also as people.
Walt Whitman wrote the poem “Oh Captain, my Captain” about Abraham Lincoln. However, it will now be forever associated with Robin Williams (at least in my mind). So, to one of the greats, and I don’t care if it’s cliche…